Today’s Chocolate: Green & Black’s 85% Cacao Dark Chocolate
Today’s Passage: Micah 3
Lies! Lies and cannibalism!
That’s the order of the day in Micah’s Israel. The lies are real, but the cannibalism is a metaphor for the greed and abuse that the prophet introduced us to in the previous chapter. He accuses his countrymen:
You who hate good and love evil,
Who tear off their skin from them
And their flesh from their bones,
Who eat the flesh of my people,
Strip off their skin from them,
Break their bones
And chop them up as for the pot
And as meat in a kettle. (2-3)
In a gross perversion of justice, those who are doing well in Israel enjoy their well-being at the expense of their neighbors. They may be doing well, but they’re certainly not doing good. In fact, the evil that they practice–filling their bellies with the livelihood of their own brothers–cuts them off from God himself, and he won’t come to their aid when their fortunes go south.
And then come the lies. Micah identifies the prophets in particular as the liars of Israel. They’ll tell you whatever you want to hear as long as you feed them well. But if you don’t bring a bribe? You’ve made a dire enemy. Micah indicts them for their corruption: “When they have something to bite with their teeth, they cry, ‘Peace,’ but against him who puts nothing in their mouths they declare holy war” (5). They’re disruptive, deceptive, truth-twisting liars, who pervert their position as God’s nominal messengers.
The penalty for the corrupt prophets is interesting and fitting: God promises to take away their revelation. What makes a prophet a prophet is God. If God doesn’t give you a message to deliver, you’re not a prophet. “The sun will go down on the prophets, and the day will become dark over them” (6), God says, indicating that they’ve forfeited the privilege of seeing the truth, if they’re simply going to replace it with lies and abuses. He goes on: “Indeed, they will all cover their mouths because there is no answer from God” (7). As a prophet, you can’t flaunt the will of God and expect him to continue communing with you.
God’s only message will be silence; and yes, the silence is a message. It says, “If you’re not going to listen, I’m not going to talk.” And if Israel continues not to listen, you can bet there will be dark days ahead.